China shipped 100 million mobile phones in the first quarter, down 24.7 percent from a year earlier, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday, citing the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
It was the first drop after seven consecutive quarters of growth. Shipments of new models fell 9.5 percent year on year.
The figures come in sharp contrast to expectations of strong shipment growth after 4G licenses were issued to China’s three biggest telecom operators at the end of 2013.
Shares of phone component makers tumbled Monday on the news.
Smartphone shipments fell 9.8 percent to 89.11 million units in the first quarter and those of 2G phones plummeted 71.7 percent to 11.44 million units, the report said.
Shipments by international brands rose 9.2 percent to 33.95 million units thanks to increased shipments of 4G phones. China-made brands saw a 34.9 percent fall to 66.86 million units.
Meanwhile, research firm IDC said it expects global shipments of wearable gadgets to more than triple this year to 19.2 million units before hitting 112 million units by 2018.
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